Love

The Moon’s Job

Our Moon Connection.
[Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay]

The Moon’s not shy,

Your winking eye

Knows a secret.

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The Moon’s not singing

Your composition

In a bar.

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The Moon’s not dreaming

Your lovely dream

In the dream-world.

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The Moon’s always only listening

To your stories,

Patiently till the end,

Passing messages at times,

Giving hints

To the storyteller

And the painter…

Messages and hints of love…


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More posts for Moon Lovers –

To The Moon And Back

Moon Colour

Crescent Moon Lights

In Slo-mo Towards the Moon

The Moon is Moving


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Gabbeh

Gabbeh.
[Source – mk2films]
Readying the carpets.
[Source – mk2films]

Let the colours dry, and you,

Who has been waiting, yes you,

Gabbeh, smile, for I will come

Riding my horse, I will come,

To steal the decorated rug

With you inside,

At last, I will make you mine.

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Gabbeh, the 1996 film, is a simple tale of a gipsy girl, her clan and the way their life goes on.

Unfolding beautifully just like an artist painting a canvas, Gabbeh quietly touches the grand questions.

What is the purpose of existence, what is this feeling of love, what makes colours so harmonious, so arresting?

The complexities, the insatiable desires, the mind games, what helps and what hinders, how do we know?

What is to be said, heard and done before death?

The film weaves a beautiful pattern of such thoughts, but subtly, charmingly that one gets truly absorbed in the flow of the story and does not feel staggered or burdened at all.

The story is exceptionally close to reality even though the style of its narration is truly poetic. It is simple and complex, romantic and mystifying, colourful and rough, complete and incomplete.

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Collecting colours.
[Source – mk2films]

Presenting life from a woman’s point of view, talking about the role of a woman in a family, sharing her aspirations and wishes with us, the entire story thus, inherently is full of warmth, colour and calmness, making the love palpable for the viewer.

The best way to describe Gabbeh would be to call it a dream. It is a folk tale, a myth and yet an unembellished raw saga; hazy, vibrant, unreal and real at the same time.

Gabbeh is an experience, a dream that you must see one day.


Gabbeh
Makhmalbaf’s audio-visual poem.
[Source – mk2films]

Written and Directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Gabbeh – Shaghayeh Djodat, Music by – Hossein Alizadeh, Cinematography – Mahmoud Kalari, Edited by – Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Language – Persian.

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Watch the trailer now –

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Learn about colours the gipsy way –


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Amir Khusrau and the Mustard Flowers

Sufi poet and singer, Amir Khusrau (1253 – 1325), famously known as the ‘Voice of India’, was an expert in unifying the mundane with the divine. His poetry presents the mystic in him and the mystical world around him.

Reading his verses, seeing through his eyes, one gets a chance to experience the transcendental self.

Here is one of his most famous poems on Basant (spring) –

सकल बन फूल रही सरसों।  

बन बिन फूल रही सरसों।।

अंबवा फूटे, टेसू फूले

कोयल बोले डार-डार

और गोरी करत सिंगार

मलनियां गेंदवा ले आईं कर सो।  

सकल बन फूल रही सरसों।।

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तरह तरह के फूल खिलाए

ले गेंदवा हाथन में आए

निज़ामुद्दीन के दरवज्जे पर

आवन कह गए आशिक रंग

और बीत गए बरसों।

सकल बन फूल रही सरसों।। 

Mustard flowers blooming in glory.
Image – Pixabay.

Literal translation –

The yellow mustard flower is blooming in every field,

Not a forest, yet like a forest of mustard flowers.

Mango buds are clicking open, and other flowers are blooming too;

The Cuckoo bird chirps from branch to branch,

And the maiden does her make-up,

The gardener-girl has brought marigolds.

The yellow mustard flower is blooming in every field.

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Colourful flowers bloom everywhere,

With marigolds in hand,

Waiting at Nizamuddin’s door

For the beloved who had promised to come

In spring, but hasn’t turned up – it has been many years since.

The yellow mustard flower is blooming in every field.

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A burst of yellow joy.
Image – Pixabay.

My Take –

The delicate mustard plants are ruling the world and the forests are shying away from their glory, what a splendour, a burst of yellow joy this is.

Seeing the blossoms, the cuckoo bird begins singing, its melody though familiar, fills every heart with delight.

And with a delighted heart one beautiful young girl is dressing up, she is hopeful.

And the gardener-girl has brought marigolds for joy has chosen a ‘colour’ and it is yellow, the yellow of the delicate mustard flowers.

Myriad coloured flowers everywhere and marigolds in hand, I am waiting as promised at Nizamudin’s door for the colours of love, waiting here since ages.

And the delicate mustard plants are ruling the world. It is spring.

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The Sufi Touch –

In love, the whole world appears to be one with us, in this state of ecstasy every atom resonates with us and here ‘mustard plants ruling the world’ is a metaphor for it.

Further, the blooming flowers, the singing bird, the beautiful young girl, the gardener-girl and marigold enhance this feeling, this thought.

Then at the great Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya’s door, one awaits, with marigolds in hand and yellow lustre all around waits for the beloved for years and years.

Here, the poem transcends from the transient to the eternal, from passionate love to soulful love.

It becomes then about the devotee waiting for the supreme light, for the union with the ultimate soul, waiting with flowers in hand, forever in joy, waiting to attain absolute bliss.

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This Sufi poem/ song has been performed by classical/ folk singers all over India and other Hindi/Urdu speaking countries.

Check out the powerful performance by Rizwan and Muazzam Ali Khan –


Also, read my post Dama Dam Mast Qalandar to get enthralled by another soulful Sufi song.


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Canonized For Love

John Donne was a prominent 17th century Metaphysical Poet.
Poster design by Jagriti Rumi.

Love is pure truth, a divine experience, a way to live more and surpass even death.

It is a sublime fantasy that is real and better than the material world. Love is life’s paradox.

This is the idea that John Donne is expressing in the poem The Canonization. It is a reply as well as a declaration that the poet makes to the world- a world that treats lovers harshly.

He scorns the worldly, he questions the inquisitive, he proves the myths true, he places his love high and announces it as canonized.

The sudden change in his tone doesn’t bother if one recognises the powerful and apt imagery he has used in the poem.

The very first line ‘For God’s sake, hold your tongue, and let me love’ hits hard, but certainly in a good manner. In fact, it catches the interest of the reader at once.

The poem is like a necklace, beaded with beautiful and grand images like –

‘What merchant’s ships have my sighs drowned?’

‘And we in us find the eagle and the dove

The phoenix riddle hath more wit/ By us; we two being one, are it’

‘As well a well-wrought urn becomes/ The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs/ And by these hymns, all shall approve / Us canonized for Love.’

Countries, towns, courts: beg from above/ A pattern of your love!

‘And if unfit for tombs and hearse/ Our legend be, it will be fit for verse’ (Stanza 4)
Image by Prawny from Pixabay

These are not empty expressions as every word in the poem is linked with the central theme – love.

If we randomly pick one word from each stanza, it will still be related to the poem.

For example, ‘improve’ (stanza 1) – one who is in love grows as an individual and improves by learning to be selfless; ‘remove’ (stanza 2) – when in love you cannot dwell on hatred, and so the negativity is removed to make space for hope; ‘Mysterious’ (stanza 3) – love is an easy mystery; ‘legend’ (stanza 4) – we all remember love stories as legends, sadly these are mostly incomplete ones; ‘mirrors’ (stanza 5) – love is as reflective as a mirror.

Love is closely related to asceticism in the poem, which is one of the conceits (an ingenious or fanciful comparison or metaphor) used by the poet.

He proves it with great subtlety that the lovers need nothing from the world; they complete each other and hence, know inner peace.

The poet says that the lovers rise to such a level that they become one and enter a divine world, thus leaving the material world behind. They dwell in each other’s simple presence.

In the last stanza, after canonizing himself and his lover, the poet says that his pious canonized love would be celebrated in the world by one and all.

He ends by completing the canonization of his love, placing it on a high pedestal, and separating it from the worldly pleasures.

‘And if no piece of chronicle we prove/ We’ll build in sonnets pretty rooms’ (Stanza 4).
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Canonization, the title of the poem, seems to be a question and an answer at the same time. As one wonders about how love can be canonized and attain sainthood, the divine nature of the poet’s love presented in the poem gradually justifies the same.

The poet shows that his love is spiritual not merely physical, that his union with his lover has made them blissful and assures that it will radiate amongst the others.

His canonized love is not against the world rather it is for the world, acting as an inspiration. His love is not harming anyone but is a liberating force, just like a saint’s.

John Donne’s The Canonization is a smart poem with brilliant use of wit, the quintessential quality of a metaphysical poet.

He celebrates love in a simple, forthright tone that makes this 17th-century poem wondrously alive in today’s world as well.

‘Alas, alas, who’s injured by my love?’ (Stanza 2)

‘Call her one, me another fly/ We’re tapers too, and at our own cost die’ (Stanza 3)

There is a message hidden in this poem and the title ‘canonization’ is the key to unveil it. Donne wants to share that every one of us, whatever be our rank in the society that runs according to the man-made rules, has the ability to reach the divine state.

Sainthood according to him is not reserved for some but is achievable by all.

What we need is to rise above the material world, to resurrect ourselves through true love. Here the beloved represents anything- a person, God, nature, the entire world.

Love is the best, the all-embracing way to reach the sublime state as it is love that makes a person truly selfless and compassionate.

Even today if someone pursues this path, they will know that they are canonized, for they are in love.

Love is to be selfless and compassionate.
Image by Nika Akin from Pixabay

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To The Moon And Back

Reaching for the moon, love,
In Gemini G4C suit, love,
Will bring some for you, love,
Papery pieces of the surface,
If not a piece of moon, love.

Our love affair with the moon is an open secret; waning, waxing, crescent, full, each phase has been glorified and studied by the curious minds. The silvery moonlight never fails to express.

In poems like The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon by J. R. R. Tolkien, Half Moon in a High Wind by Carl Sandburg, The Freedom of the Moon by Robert Frost, The Moon Was But a Chin Of Gold by Emily Dickenson, The Mother Moon by Louisa May Alcott, Mrs Moon by Roger McGough, in paintings like Caspar David Friedrich’s Two Men Contemplating the Moon (1819), James McNeill Whistler’s Nocturne, Blue and Gold—Southampton Water (1872), Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night (1889), the artists reveal and revel in the moony secret.

Caspar David Friedrich’s Two Men Contemplating the Moon (1819). [Source – Wikipedia]
James McNeill Whistler’s Nocturne, Blue and Gold—Southampton Water (1872). [Source – Google Arts & Culture
Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night (1889). [Source – Wikipedia]

What is the moony secret? It is the personal conversation that one has with the moon. It is intense yet quick, fierce yet soothing, honest yet an illusion.

Sidereus Nuncius (Latin for Sidereal/ Starry Messenger or Sidereal Message; published in 1610) talks in-depth about the moony secret; it is an astronomical treatise written by Galileo Galilei, the father of modern science.

Title page of Sidereus Nuncius by Galileo Galilei (1610). [Source – Wikipedia Commons]

Becoming one of the first few who used a telescope to study the surface of the moon (along with some constellations and Jupiter’s four moons) Galileo discovered that the moon was not translucent and ‘a perfect sphere’ like Aristotle had believed it to be, that it had mountains and craters which were formed after it was hit by asteroids and comets, just like our planet Earth was.

Galileo’s sketches of the moon from Sidereus Nuncius (1610). [Source – Wikipedia Commons]

The moon is imperfect (its surface is irregular), said Galileo’s theory, and this magnificent, and at the same time, tumultuous discovery brought it (the moon) closer to us mortal beings, providing exhaustive research material for the future scientists, accelerating the world towards a change.

“And yet it (Earth) moves”, a rebellious phrase at that time, allegedly spoken by Galileo, led to his imprisonment.

The Copernican heliocentric view (1543) that the Sun is in the centre of the solar system, with Earth and the other planets orbiting around it in circular paths, was a theory which Galileo studied and defended.

Centuries later, Galileo’s moony secret reached the moon when astronaut David Scott, during the 1972 Apollo 15 mission, demonstrated through the ‘Falling Bodies’ experiment what Galileo had proved long back, that the “acceleration is the same for all bodies subject to gravity on the Moon, even for a hammer and a feather” (watch the video here).

A view of the Apollo 11 lunar module “Eagle” as it returned from the surface of the moon to dock with the command module “Columbia”; the Earth in the background (21st July 1969). [Source – NSSDCA NASA]

A space race between the USA and the Soviet Union led to many successful moon exploration missions, both manned and unmanned ones.

While the US Surveyor probes (1966-1968) transmitted 87,000 pictures of the surface of the moon and measured its chemical properties, the manned missions brought back pieces of the moon; Apollo 11 alone brought 47.5 pounds (21.5 Kg) of the lunar material.

‘Papery pieces of the moon, love’
A collage of photographs of the lunar surface sent by the US Surveyor Probe 7 (1966-1968). [Source – NSSDCA NASA]
Astronaut Pete Conrad inspects the Surveyor 3 spacecraft on the Moon (20th November 1969). [Source – NSSDCA NASA]

The twelve people who have walked on the surface of the moon also left behind items, some as meaningful gifts to the moon and some out of necessity as they needed free space to carry moon rocks home.

A golden olive branch, the Bible, a silicon disk inscribed with goodwill messages from world leaders of 74 countries, American flags, a family photo, three golf balls, scientific pieces of equipment and also, bags full of human waste are some of the “artificial objects” still lying, in worn-out or wiped-out condition, on the moon.

Lying there as a symbol of victory, of advancement, of trust and of human life itself – humans, the mortal beings of the lonely planet Earth.

The silicon disc left on moon by Apollo 11 astronauts (1969). [Source – Wikipedia]
Fallen Astronaut, a statuette, and a plaque were placed on the surface of the moon by astronaut Hadley Rille in remembrance of the astronauts and cosmonauts who died in the advancement of space exploration (1971). [Source – Wikipedia]
Astronaut Charlie Duke’s family portrait left on the surface of the moon (1972). [Source – Wikipedia Commons]

Or maybe these items are just a message for the Moon Rabbit who, according to some East Asian folklore, lives on the moon, pounding elixir of life for the moon goddess Chang’e.

After all, Apollo 11 astronauts were also aware of this story; command module pilot Michael Collins had said to the NASA mission control – “Okay. We’ll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl.”

An 18th-century embroidered Chinese emperor’s robe. A Chinese dragon; a medallion above it shows the White Hare of the Moon, at the foot of a cassia tree, making the elixir of immortality (18th century). [Source – Wikipedia Commons]

We are connecting pieces, we are steadily moving towards the darkness out there, hoping to see the light. We are all reaching out for the moon with our eyes glued to the telescope, our minds calculating the numbers, our hands painting a masterpiece, our words penning an epic, our voices singing a moony melody and our hearts feeling the moony secret.

We have even smelt it (and perhaps even tasted it), the moon, yes we have. The moon dust smelt like burnt gunpowder to most of the astronauts. Quote—

I wish I could send you some, it is amazing stuff, said Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan.
It’s soft like snow, yet strangely abrasive.
Not half bad (sic), said John Young Apollo 16 astronaut.
It smells like spent (sic) gunpowder, said Cernan.

Our love affair with the moon has only grown stronger with time; it is a part of our story and vice-versa, right, dear moon?

Science with its meticulous explorations and art with its colourful gravity will keep bringing us closer to the moon; it will take us to the moon and back.

Till then let us admire the only memento left on the moon that may last for millions of years, which is, the tracks left by the astronauts. Because there is no air or water on the moon, nothing will wipe it off, neither the extreme cold conditions nor the savage sunlight.

Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin photographed this footprint in the lunar soil as part of an experiment to study the nature of lunar dust and the effects of pressure on the surface (1969). [Source – NSSDCA NASA]

Till then let us continue revelling in the moony secret.


Read More Moon Lovers!


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Live and Rise

Summer night–

even the stars

are whispering to each other.

– Haiku by Kobayashi Issa

And they are whispering, twinkling blue and green, sharing the secret we all know… that love is in the air.

The summer earth blooms for it is in love, the summer sky sways for it is in love.

A promise is made with joy in the eyes by every soul, promise to live and rise.  


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Moon Colour

A touch of the moon colour and this life will glow and slowly will it know of a love story so pure that has travelled a long distance facing boldly every storm that has become a norm, followed by all, the same ones who secretly, meekly hope for someone to rise, rebel and risk it proudly, showing the world that a heart beats in every being, a heart that falls irrefutably in love, in love with a smile, a gesture, the earth, the sky and the moon… all this life needs is a touch of the moon colour.

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The Broken Nest and Other Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

The Broken Nest

Charu and Amal didn’t understand their heart’s secret, but how could it be that their own heart hid something from them, well it did. Maybe, Charu’s binoculars didn’t work properly. And Mr. Bhupati, a lost editor, busy sketching the details of a busy world, had no time for keeping secrets. Why did they give their secrets to Time for safekeeping? Time always travels light, thus, it naturally left their secrets behind, visible for them all to see, casting a spell. The spell didn’t kill, it broke hearts.

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The Ghat’s Tale

Vasant… Grishm… Varsha… Sharad… Hemant… Shishir…

Six seasons talked to the Ghat near the Ganga River. The seasons brought green moss at times and dry leaves at others, dipping the Ghat into sunlight and rain shower with love, the seasons spoke less, but heard sincerely. What did the Ghat tell them? It shared stories… stories of you and me.

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Notebook

Let her be, why torment her, why read her notebook without her consent? She is little, just a girl, a child bride, she has left her world behind, she has carried some in her notebook.

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Postmaster

Love is all-powerful and yet it blooms slowly in every soul taking time to realise it completely. A shade of love wrote a letter to the Postmaster who, tricked by mind, read it too late. Oh! That feeling…

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The Broken Nest is a novella, while the other three are short stories; each one holds a complete universe and touches you deeply. Rabindranath Tagore beautifully writes in the language of love, his characters always express something which stays usually hidden within a heart, sidelined by the talkative world. Every story of his is like a time machine, it unfolds the past keeping it alive and magical at the same time. The birds sing sweetest of songs in his stories, the earth dances the best to his tunes, the colour red blushes flamboyantly in his paintings and tears take time to dry up when he narrates. Know his work and you will know.

A painting by Rabindranath Tagore

By- My Friend

Seeing through their eyes. Image – Pixabay.

All we need is love…really?

I feel that more than love we need to have the ability to understand the loved ones in our life…we need to stop for a moment and see the other person without our preconceived notions.

I had this thought in my mind for a long time and I wanted to write about it. Recently, my dear friend unknowingly gave voice to my thoughts…and she did it so very beautifully.

What she has written is so true and accurate and apt to my feelings that I thought of sharing it with everyone else through this blog.

Here is what she wrote- 

UNDERSTANDING  

There are so many dimensions to each one of us, and the combination of all these dimensions results in our PERSONALITY. It is not something which can be pre-defined.

On the contrary, it is something which keeps on getting refined with every new day we face in our lives, through our varied experiences.  

We all think that ‘Understanding’ is an inherent personality trait we all are born with, that once we reach a particular age and maturity level, we automatically attain the level of understanding we ought to.

But I disagree. Understanding, according to me, is the most difficult as well as the most significant emotion we possess.

More so, it demands a certain level of effort: the effort to put one into the other person’s shoes and think the way he/she does, and not according to your own mind.

Only then would one be able to ‘Understand’ the other person’s perspective. And this equips the individual with another beautiful emotion – Empathy.  

This is the kind of Understanding we all demand from people we are close to, people we depend on, people we love, and majority of the times, they let us down.

Only because they think that they know us so well that they don’t even try for a split second to come out of their own selves and use all that they know about us to grasp things from our perspective.

We all have to always remember that nothing in this world comes for free: that for all important things, we have to invest our energies, either mentally, physically or emotionally to attain or retain something or someone in our lives.  

May god bless everyone with this ‘UNDERSTANDING’.  


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Big Words Are Going Somewhere

Poem

Time is a big word

And a big cheater

It swears to stay

But never stops to say

Even a goodbye


Love is a big word

And a big cheater

Love is what is beautiful

Though not without pain

At its best when slain


Life is a big word

And a big cheater

Full of opposites

Charming by nature

It tricks a keen creature


Death is a big word

And a big cheater

Feared by the greatest

A truth that stands tall

Accepted in the end by all


The big words are going somewhere

With a small word ‘smile’ I stare